Are horses to old to train? (Walk on a Lead Rope, Break to ride...etc) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ocala, FL
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Unhappy Are horses to old to train? (Walk on a Lead Rope, Break to ride...etc)

Hey everyone. I am brand new to horses (yes I already said idiot) and just like the idiot I am, I went out and purchased a 9 year old Belgian Mare. Well, I was told she had very little training, but would walk on a lead rope, stand tied, loves to get baths, etc.... I know its going to be a challenge and Im not giving up yet, Just wanting some suggestions and pointers.

When meeting her at her farm for the first time, she was great. She walked up to the gate on a lead rope to get cookies.... She allowed me to pick up her feet, I tossed the lead rope across her back, just to see if she was spooky at all. She did great. I didnt really know what else to try with her. So I came home, thought about it for a while. Called them back today and had them bring her over. So I let her stay in the pasture for a few hours. She was kinda dirty and I wanted to give her a bath (since I was told she would, walk ok on a lead rope, stand tied and love to get baths....I figured it would be a great bonding experience for us (BOY WAS I WRONG)

1) She didnt really walk very well on a lead rope.
2) She was ok with the water, being sprayed on her (i did everything VERY slowly)
3) Once she backed up, she felt pressure on her head and she took another step back and snapped her halter.

Needless to say, it didnt go over very well and I was getting frustrated. So I took her back to the pasture and walked away. I dont want to work with her when I am frustrated. I wasnt frustrated with her, I was just frustrated that apparently I wasnt told the entire truth about her.

So I walked away and found this place.

I am thinking that I am going to have to start off from Scratch, walking her around on a lead rope. She seems to walk in circles just fine, but walking forward on the rope is another thing.......

Any suggestions or Ideas (p.s. I know I probably shouldnt have purchased her, however, please dont yell at me for that.....Just give me some advice so I can ensure the both of us can live together happy)
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post #2 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
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The 1st thing is you tried to do things with her after being moved from her home to a new place within a few hours after getting there.

Being moved and going to a new place is an experience.

Do not give up or feel bad, it is not unusual for Horse to be a little indifferent about a new place fresh off the trailer.

Some bonding time is needed, give her a a day or two to get used to the new place. Talk to her, maybe brush her, let her get used to you and her new home.

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May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #3 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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I was hoping thats what it was. I tried to offer her carrots and she wouldnt even take one from me. She would however take the little berry treats from me. I am just going to have to work very slowly with her and get her used to me. Im not ready to give up, I only gave up tonight because I was getting frustrated that she wouldnt do any of those things and I was told she was. I didnt wanna keep trying with her when I was frustrated too. I didnt even take into account that she might be a little freaked about the move and everything. Thank you!!!
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post #4 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:38 PM
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A horse is never to old to be trained. Just start out with brushing, giving treats, and building your bond. Then start out with walking around with the leadrope. Once your bond builds, she should probably trust you more and understand that it's ok. Also, when you get horses home for the first time, they usually are jumpy. Don't worry about it, give it a couple days, keep strenghtening that bond. Try to find an experienced horse person or trainer, or even vet to help you out. Good luck, hope I could help! :)
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post #5 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:42 PM
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If you haven't found out already... horse people do things many different ways.

I never give a new horse time to adjust/bond. We just get busy doing whatever I want.

Is it too late to return her? You are in no way an idiot, but you sure didn't luck out and get the type of horse you can enjoy and learn with.

Barring that, please get some help from someone experienced and patient so you don't get hurt and the horse doesn't end up spoiled beyond repair.
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post #6 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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The whole bonding aspect, I didnt even think about. The horses that are here now, (Paints, belong to a friend of mine....He let me have a couple so I can ride, etc...) When they got here, I didnt do any bonding with them at all. I just bathed em' saddled em' up and rode) It took some time for both the horse and myself to get used to each other, but they didnt seem to have a problem with me doing anything with them. However, I think that just goes to show me, different horses, different training (or lack thereof) and different Im not ready to give up. I live around a bunch of horse people and I am going to get some help, now that I know Im going to have to start from scratch with her. Its just gonna take more time than I expected, but I lived this long without a horse, whats another year (to get her trained right) lol
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post #7 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 09:24 PM
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She will be quite a job. Get some very good help so that you don't give her any bad habits without realizing it. Belgians are large horses and she will be difficult if not handled correctly. While drafts tend to be more docile they are still horses and can easily hurt you without trying to. Be sure you never wrap the lead to hold it. Fold it.. Be sure you stay in a safe zone while handling her.. Hopefully she is just testing you and does have more ground manners than she is showing you.. Tying is one thing some horses have a problem with. Once they break or get free they seem to know they can.. I suggest not tying her to anything until you can get her properly giving to pressure. :) Good luck with her.

I want to simply say, take her back. Because you are a beginner and green and green don't usually work well. IF you have good help tho you can do it. Weigh this decision with great care..

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post #8 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 09:37 PM
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A beginner should buy a totally trained horse. To do otherwise is to invite discouragement. If you are really interested in this horse, I would send her to a professional trainer.

Carpe Diem!
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post #9 of 52 Old 09-09-2012, 10:06 PM
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I agree with several other posters. On one hand, some horses do better with some time to adjust though I'm a bit more inclined to believe that it mainly so that the new owner can get more comfortable with them. I, like boots, very seldom give a horse an adjustment period after arriving at a new home, but I have the experience to know when the horse is okay with that and when they aren't.

Don't get discouraged and don't feel like an idiot. We all make rash decisions and oftentimes regret them later when we start thinking "What the heck did I get myself into?".

Short and easy answer is that no horse is ever too old to get trained, it's just that much of the training often gets harder as the horse gets older. The very best suggestion I can give you is to continue handling her; brushing her, picking up her feet, etc. Get a rope halter with a tied on lead that doesn't have anything that will easily break, and then find a local trainer who has experience with training draft horses. Get them to train the horse and, at the same time, teach you how to properly handle them and react to situations that will come up at any given moment.

Belgians can be some of the very sweetest horses on the planet, truly gentle giants, but they can often hurt you very badly very quickly without meaning to just because they are so big.

Get some experienced help. You and your horse both will be happier and more fulfilled if you take away a lot of the "trial and error" part of your relationship.
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post #10 of 52 Old 09-10-2012, 10:17 AM
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I am going to recommend you take reading material and a lawn chair and just go sit in the pasture and ignore her. Just be there. Do this for a week, daily and ask nothing of her. Don't try to touch her. After a week take a flake of hay with you and set it down about about 20' away and just be there. She is learning a lot about you so it's not time wasted. I commend you for leaving her alone when frustration sets in. I find just taking three deep breaths, in thro the nose, out thro pursed lips refreshes the mind. I also play a little game with my mind. As soon as I'm aware of a negative thought, like a wayward child I'll tell it to go sit in the corner. This usually gets me laughing which of course lightens the mood.
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